This week Pete Smith and I ,tLucy White , went up the Mendips to look for our weekly count of butterflies and we were delighted to find 2nGreen Hair Streaks ( fairly rare round here and only around for a week or two at most) and Holly Blue,all on the same bush. I photo'd them but alas what with sunshine etc did not get much of a snap. However we were delighted and saw our first Small Heath of the season and Dingy and Drizzled skippers as well. They sound ugly but are actually delightful little fellows. They fly near the ground so are relatively easy to spot. There was 100% sunshine and although the wind was rather fresh we had a very successful trip with all the usual ones in attendance
It was a lovely experience but the decision to go was taken late in the day at 10.30am and we went at 11.30am to catch a good moment in around other activities for that day
Now I am home typing this and ready to go for a more modest local walk. The butterfly trip takes 2 hours


Lots of good news.

In case you haven’t yet heard St Mary Magdalene Community Garden has now been given the official go ahead by the Diocese.  We received a letter this month to let us know that a Faculty had been granted, this is the ecclesiastical equivalent of being given planning permission.  Now that this is in place we can progress the project further.

Sunday 30th April 10am onwards we will be having a garden maintenance and tidy up day.  Come and lend a hand for as long or short a time as you can manage.  If you fancy staying over lunchtime bring a packed lunch.  Tea, coffee and squash will be available in church.  Gardening equipment which might be useful are, gloves, loppers, secateurs, spades, rakes.

Sunday May 14th 12.30pm come along to the picnic.  You may remember last year we had a picnic in the garden on Whit Sunday, with lots of fun and games.  We are having a similar event this year but on May 14th  which is the date that our new vicar, Reverend Sam Denyer, is taking his first service at Wookey Hole. You can find out more about Sam by clicking on this link to the village website   You are very welcome to come along to the service which is at 11am and/or come to the picnic  at 12.30.  There will be a bring and buy bookstall so do bring any books that you have finished with and would like to pass on and some money to buy replacements!

Pass on the invitation to any friends, family or neighbours who might like to come along.

Look forward to seeing you soon

Julia and all the Community Garden Working Group

01749 672754


PS If you’ve received this and no longer want to receive Community Garden mailings let me know.   

We have a new Vicar of our village Parish Church, Revd Sam Denyer.  His institution into the post by Bishop Peter will be at St Cuthbert’s in Wells on Saturday May 6th.  His first service in the village will be at 11.00 am on May 14th. Everyone is welcome at the service at 11.00 or to join us at 12.30pm to meet Sam and the family, bring a picnic and a rug. 

As some of you may kntow there is an ongoing butterfly count recorded in annual National statistics and we,here in the Mendips,do a regular weekly count for this record of a fairly extensive patch of our Mendip hills territory ,initially under the able leadership of Leslie Cloutman, and thrillingly joined some 6 years ago by an esteemed specialist in this branch of natural history ,an ex Royal Marine soldier but also a butterfly and moth enthusiast since the cradle, I believe. He is called Captain Peter Smith and although now coming up to his 90th birthday has never missed an opportunity to help us record the current population and identify any rarities blown into our section of the Mendips.
  We divide our territory into 9 "transacts," as they are called,ie 8 fields and a path and the walk takes about 2 hours. The months we do this are from April1st till October 1st and It must be done weekly between the hours of 10 and 4  ie butterfly flying times,although I notice many out at later hours! The weather temperature has to be above 13 degrees and there are minimum requirements of actual sunshine. Sometimes it is a complete nightmare getting a day with enough sun in the week, and carrying on life around the timing of the butterfly appointment.
This week however was an easy choice for today Sunday 9th as we knew well in advance that the weather would be gorgeous.
Caroline Tetley and I have done this for ten years and as I am mid 70s and a little arthritic in one hip I am  looking for younger teams to replace me.
Today there were indeed interested parties and although Caroline could not be with us we were joined by Colin Babb and Joanna Davey and Rebecca Hayes,luckily all really interested.
We had a beautiful walk,clear blue sky ,100% sunshine, mist in the distance but clarity all around and got quite a respectable tally for so early in the season. There were Speckled Woods,Orange Tips, one Holly Blue, Peacocks ,iBrimstones and one or two whites in too much of a hurry for safe identification. It is important to be certain and if there is an unusual find then a photo is required for confirmation of accuracy. We have marvellous charts in laminated form,invaluable for getting to know each species.
We climbed all the styles and had a very energetic but enjoyable time going very near the top and Les filled us in with the orchids and other beauties to be found in our path.
I have felt very privileged,if a bit stretched!, to do this tallying of our wonderful butterflies
Lucy White

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